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Learning & Education

Dendrites are the most essential part of synaptic formation; hence, forming new dendrites is critical for healthy brain functioning.  Here are some ways to enhance it: 

1) Meditation 

Chronic stress is one of the main causative agents of depression [18]. Scientists have shown that there is an adverse impact on the shape, activity, and function of dendrites, as well as on synaptic plasticity and the secretion of stress hormones (cortisol) due to chronic stress [7,12]. It is crucial to prevent chronic stress to preserve optimal neural and synaptic functioning. Studies have shown many positive effects of meditation on reducing chronic stress [28,29]. 

2) Sleep

Studies have shown that sleep after motor learning activates the dendritogenesis and spinogenesis of postsynaptic dendrites [21,22]. Sleep also prevents the elimination of newly formed spines after learning multiple tasks [21,22]. Non-rapid eye movement sleep reactivates neurons are activated during motor tasks. Altering this hinders branch-specific dendritic spine formation [21,22]. 

4) Antioxidants

Studies have found that a diet rich in antioxidants reduces dendritic spine loss [31]. Antioxidants eliminate reactive oxygen species (ROS) and protect the brain. Omega fatty acids have been shown to improve neuronal function mediated by the formation of new neurons and synapses [31,32]. Omega fatty acids also increase the secretion of neurotrophins like BDNF, NGF, NT-3, and NT-4, activating dendritogenesis [12,33,34].

5) Methylene Blue

Methylene Blue (MB) has been shown to activate the expression of PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) [35,36]. PINK1 is actively involved in regulating dendritic morphology [37]. Thus, the application of MB may positively impact dendritogenesis [38]. MB also activates BDNF [39,40], which has been shown to play an active role in dendritogenesis. MB enhances antioxidants in the body, which reduces ROS and improves cognitive function[35,38]. You can grab some now

6) Neurobics

Neurobics (neuron+ aerobics) is a concept introduced by Dr. Lawrence Katz [41]. He developed a variety of brain exercises that can provide more oxygen to neurons and help improve cognitive function [41]. The concept is that brain exercises result in a higher release of neurotrophins like BDNF [41–43]. BDNF activates dendritogenesis and helps in improving cognitive function [42,43]. Practicing long-term neurobics may induce a change in brain morphology due to neuroplasticity. Studies have found that London taxi drivers have increased grey matter and larger hippocampal volume, as driving is a neurobic that impacts these brain regions [42,44]. Similarly, learning music improves verbal and working memory [41,42].

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